Jamie Oliver stated earlier today on twitter that he is “devastated” with the news of his restaurant group being placed into administration. The group, which includes the Jamie’s Italian chain, Barbecoa and Fifteen, appointed KPMG as administrators putting circa 1,300 jobs at risk.
We understand that 25 restaurants are affected by the administration process and 23 of these are from the Jamie’s Italian chain located across the UK.
Jamie Oliver Limited and Jamie Oliver Licensing Limited, which operates under Jamie Oliver Holdings, as well as the international restaurant franchise business, Jamie’s Italian International Limited, will continue to trade as normal. Fifteen Cornwall, which as a business operates under a franchise agreement, will also continue to trade as normal.
Jamie Oliver’s businesses have faced multiple difficulties over the past few years where some Jamie’s Italian and Barbecoa restaurants were closed down. Two years ago, Mr Oliver’s Union Jacks restaurants were closed as was the ‘Jamie’ magazine. The closures were forced despite Jamie Oliver investing a further £3 million of his personal fortune into the businesses in December 2017.
Dun & Bradstreet’s Lead Economist Markus Kuger on hearing the news told us: “Like many other industries, the UK restaurant sector has been impacted by the prolonged economic uncertainty around Brexit and complexity of the current business environment.
“Over the past year we have witnessed a reversal of consecutive years of growth (since 2015) in the hospitality sector with the number of restaurants in the UK dropping for the first time in eight years.
“Jamie Oliver’s restaurant business seems to be the latest casualty in what has been termed a ‘crisis in the casual dining sector’.”
The casual dining sector has been the subject of much debate in recent years with many predicting brand saturation and as a consequence contraction. Rising rent pressures, the general decline of the high street, food price inflation and Brexit causing concerns for staffing makes operating in the casual dining sector difficult for many, even if you are a household name celebrity chef.